The Government Should Buy More Fuel-Efficient Trucks and Truck Tractors

EMD-80-27: Published: Feb 21, 1980. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 1980.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In its continuing review of how Federal agencies have attempted to conserve energy, GAO surveyed the extent to which the Government was buying fuel-efficient commercial trucks and truck tractors. Currently, the Federal Government operates the largest fleet of commercial medium and heavy duty vehicles in the United States. Previous work indicated that the Government's use of fuel-efficient components and devices was lower than that of industry.

While all available fuel-efficient components could not be used on all vehicles, if each of the 30,000 trucks and truck tractors could be equipped with these components to increase the fuel efficiency by 20 percent, an estimated 220,000 barrels of oil could be saved annually. GAO identified 12 fuel-efficient components and determined the extent to which they were used in Government purchased truck tractors. Except for diesel engines, the use of these components was not widespread. Factors impeding the Government's use of these components include: current vehicle specifications preclude extensive use of fuel-efficient components and encourage use of nonfuel-efficient components; procurement practices need to be improved because agencies have not required the use of fuel-efficient components where appropriate; and procurement agencies are not fully aware of the benefits that could be obtained by using fuel-efficient components. Procurement of fuel-efficient components has not been emphasized by the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Army Tank-Automotive Materiel Readiness Command.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should issue guidelines advising the Department of Defense (DOD) and GSA to: issue vehicle specifications which mandate the use of fuel-efficient components and adopt those procurement practices which restrict the buying of nonfuel-efficient components, unless the use of these components is not cost effective from the point of view of life cycle cost analysis or would not meet the vehicle performance needs of the users; and actively participate in the Voluntary Truck and Bus Fuel Economy Program to obtain the maximum awareness of the benefits of using fuel-efficient components in medium and heavy duty trucks and truck tractors. As these recommendations are implemented, OMB should require DOD and GSA to submit progress reports of the individual agency efforts to maximize the fuel efficiency of medium and heavy duty trucks brought into the system.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Mar 20, 2018

Mar 14, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Dec 7, 2017

Nov 14, 2017

Nov 1, 2017

Oct 26, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here